… a level at a time.

Posts tagged “Action

Photos, games, and life.

This year has been an interesting one for my photography. As I said in my earlier post, I had some photos and a ceramics piece in a show at the Phelps Arts Center. My photo of the Sunset on the Erie Canal in Fairport got some more attention while it was there. A graphic designer, Chris, talked to me about possibly using it for the Perinton Bicentennial event poster & wine label. After talking with him for a bit, we decided that I’d email him a low-res copy of my picture so he could mess with some ideas to present to the board.A week or so later, I received an email from Chris saying that they loved it and requested that I write-up an invoice for the town and Casa Larga, so they could use the photo.

Chris put me in contact with a representative from Casa Larga, because they would want some background information for a press-release. It turns out they wanted more than that, they asked me to show up at their tent at Fairport Canal Days for wine-bottle signings, and they also want me to go to the wine shop for an event later this month. I had a wedding that I was attending the weekend of Canal Days, and the only day I was able to make it out there was Sunday. It rained most of the day, which sucked… but there were still a lot of people at Canal Days. I didn’t expect that many people to be out. Dad took a picture of me at the Casa Larga tent one of the brief times it wasn’t raining. I ended up signing a dozen or so bottles, and got quite a few compliments while I was there.

After that show ended in Phelps – the pieces I had there, along with a new photo, went over to school for the Spring Arts Festival. The stuff in the show this year was fantastic, better than last year’s show I think. My photos got a bit of attention once again. The Canal photo that is getting most of the attention won second place for photography, and one of the other photos [bottom right in the picture] I entered was given an honorable mention, and the faculty at school purchased it for display around the campuses.

My Xbox 360 died earlier this year; after 5 years it finally got the Red Ring of Death.  That happened right around the release of Mass Effect 3… which I planned on playing on my 360. Instead of continuing my game, I was forced to start a new game on the computer [since I didn’t replace my 360]. I still haven’t made it all the way through the game. School was more important at the time, and I haven’t bothered getting back into it. I’m still looking into replacing my 360, but I’m not sure how I want to go about it. I could buy a cheap refurbished one, or I could take the plunge and buy one of the 360 Slims. I don’t know which I would rather do… that and I’d have to save up for the Slim. Getting a refurbished 360 would be much cheaper, but it runs the risk of getting another RROD. Whereas, if I picked up a Slim it would be more expensive, but I shouldn’t have to worry about the system dying for a while, and I would have more hard drive space. I would also have to buy the transfer cable to copy the stuff from the HD in my old 360 to the Slim. Also, it’s getting to the point that new systems should be released soon. I think I’ll probably just end up with a refurbished one.

Diablo 3 came out in May. This is one game I’ve waited a long time for. I only played through the original Diablo a few times, but I can’t tell you how many times I played through Diablo 2, or how much time I spent farming bosses and the Secret Cow Level with friends.

I’ve heard mixed reviews about D3, personally I love it. It still has that old Diablo/Diablo 2 feel, but there are new features that give it a slight touch of MMO. The skill bar is the biggest one that I can think of; instead of having just the mouse clicks for attacks there is now the 1-5 buttons that you can assign skills to. There are five to choose from; the Barbarian [melee, physical], Demon Hunter [ranged, physical], Monk [melee, physical/magic], Witch Doctor [ranged, physical/magic], and Wizard [ranged, magic]. Unlike Diablo 2’s max level of 99, the level cap in Diablo 3 has been limited to 60, who knows if Blizzard plans on raising that in the future [with or without an expansion]. The stash starts out small [7 blocks x 2 blocks], but is expandable [up to 7 blocks x 10 blocks] by purchase with gold. Then there are also 2 extra tabs that can be purchased with the same amount of space. The stash is also bound to your account, not the characters, there is no more needing friends to hold a game open to transfer items between characters. I’m not sure which is my favorite, but the two I’ve played the most is my Demon Hunter followed by a pretty even balance between the Barbarian, Monk, and Witch Doctor. I think I’ve only invested about 5 minutes into the Wizard so far, but I’ll play that more eventually. Blizzard added a new mode. In Diablo and Diablo 2 there was Normal, Nightmare, and Hell… now there is also Inferno. My Demon Hunter is the only character that I have made it to Inferno with so far. All I have to say about Inferno is that the elite mobs make all of Hell mode look like a cake walk. Some of them are comparable to [mini] raid bosses in MMOs. Blizzard also replaced the Secret Cow Level that was in Diablo 2. In Diablo 3, the secret level is Whimsyshire… the land of flowers, rainbows, teddy bears, and unicorns; all of which are out to kill you… well, except the rainbows – they’re just pretty. The map is amazing, it looks like a little kid drew it. Once again, all the maps in game are randomly generated, so things aren’t going to be in the same place every time.

I stepped away from Diablo 3 this past weekend because I participated in the Guild Wars 2 Beta. I played the first game a bit, but at the time I started playing the first Guild Wars, I was already playing [and enjoyed] World of Warcraft more and I just stopped playing Guild Wars. From what I got to play in the beta, there are a lot of new concepts… but there’s only so far you can go with a MMO.

I would have played more, but I wasn’t home all weekend, and the beta did not like running properly on my laptop… so I left it to when I was at home and could use my desktop. The story is interesting, the way it plays out is you are the hero, and every NPC knows it, when you create a character you give it background which changes how some NPCs interact with you [what god you worship, if you were noble or a street rat, etc]. Some of the chat sequences are a little like cut-scenes, it says they’re still a work in progress. It’s interesting and gives the game a bit of a single-player feel. Combat is cool, there’s the typical combat but there is also an interesting concept called “downed-state” [if you lose all your health]. Instead of dying right away, you go into a downed-state. In a downed-state you can fight using 4 skills [different from the typical class skills] that will do damage and help fill the bar, there is a chance you can survive if you manage to fill up the downed-state bar, otherwise [if it’s depleted] you die and have to respawn at a checkpoint. Other players can also come to you and help revive you while you are in the downed state. There is no tagging mobs for exp/loot. If someone is attacking a mob and you stop and help, you will get a little exp and possibly some loot. I don’t know if it cuts into their loot/exp table from the mob or not, but it’s nice to get a bonus for helping random people.

The attack buttons are pre-defined to the numbers above the alphabet on the keyboard, and I can’t find a way to change them [one thing I did in WoW was reassign some skill buttons to other keys that were easier to get to]. The first 5 skills [1-5] are based on what weapon you are using, and every weapon has a different set of skills. When you get a new weapon, you only have the first attack available. As you use a weapon more, you become more experienced with it and unlock the second skill, then the third, etc. Skill 6 is your self-heal skill, every class has one, there are no healers/dps/tanks. You have to keep yourself alive [use your skills, heal, and double tap directions to dodge]. Skill 7-0 are based on your class and what skills you chose with skill points.

I didn’t get into crafting this time [just disassembling gear for materials], maybe if there is another beta I’ll get a chance to mess with that more. You can disassemble weapons, armor, and some other things to generate the crafting materials, which is neat. You can also collect materials throughout the world [mining, herb gathering, and something else I can’t remember]. The bank is account wide, so if you put an item in on one character and hop to another, you can withdraw it from the bank on that character. The bank also has a separate tab that stores specifically crafting materials, so they don’t take up bank/bag space. I really like that, cause every time I upgraded gear, I disassembled the old gear for mats and my bag/bank would fill up very quickly.

The world is massive, and as far as I can tell, there are no mounts to ride. There are waypoints you can discover and instant-travel to for money, but if you’re always doing that you will miss out on experience and world events that happen all the time in random places. The art is pretty cool, landscapes and creatures are cool looking, yet another reason to run and explore. There is also exploration [jumping] puzzles that will reward you if you find/reach the end [I got an extra skill point from one, and a better weapon from another]. I haven’t had any official groups/parties, just a few with NPCs in the starting areas and the world event auto-group thing. The auto-group thing doesn’t actually form a group/party, but if a few people are doing tasks for an event [ie – protect a farm from bandit invasion (kill bandits & ruin their morale)] and one person completes part, everyone working on that event gets credit. Overall, Guild Wars 2 something I’m going to keep my eye on and play any beta I get into.

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Life’s Journey…

Hmm… three posts to cover 2011? This blog has not turned into what I originally intended. I was thinking a post a month at the very least would be good. Oh well… it is what it is, I guess.

I had a fantastic time camping with my friends back in June. It’s been a while since I had gone camping. We stayed at the Wakins Glen campground Friday night through Sunday morning.

Friday night after everyone had finished setting up, we spent hanging around the camp site – drinking, talking, & playing card games.

We spent a chunk of Saturday walking the gorge. Of course I took my camera; my friends got a little annoyed with how long I was taking… but being a photographer, I couldn’t help but stop to take pictures. I was taking a lot of long shutter speed pictures and multiple exposures for HDR images. After walking around the gorge for a while we went back to camp; we made some new friends that were there camping across the way from us.

After that a group of us went out on wine tasting. I didn’t do any tastings, because I decided to drive. When we got back from the tasting tour, we went back to our new friends’ camp site and spent the evening partying.

When I had finished post-processing my photos and posted them, most of the people that had complained about me taking so long responded with something like, “I see what took so long, good thing you didn’t rush. These are some gorgeous shots!”

I spent the fourth of July with a bunch of friends; there was a BBQ at Katie’s house. That night we drove to the city to watch the fireworks. I made my first attempt at taking photos of fireworks and think I did rather well. After watching the fireworks we made our way back to Katie’s.

Most of the group was ready to head to bed, so they left. Katie and I decided we wanted to watch Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along-Blog.

After that night, Katie and I started hanging out on a daily basis, up from our once every month or so. We started geocaching & going on all sorts of adventures together.

Katie and I went on our first date on July 19th; we took a day trip to Niagara Falls. She likes to think that she asked me out… in all honesty, she kind-of did, but I like to think of it as a joint effort [haha]: I mentioned that I still needed to get up to Niagara Falls so I could take pictures; she said that she wanted to go up there again soon, and said we should go together. One of us [I don’t remember who] made the semi-joking comment, “It’s a date.” Well, that semi-joking comment made us think, is it really a date-date or was it just a date we had set to go?

On the 19th, I drove out to Katie’s and we packed up lunch and snacks for a picnic, then left for Niagara Falls. After walking around for a while [and me stopping repeatedly for photos], Katie poked fun at me & told me that she was going to make me an “I break for photos” patch for my camera bag [which I’m still waiting for, lol]. After we had been there a while we began talking about what there was between us… were we just awesome friends, or was there more? Shortly after that, we made our relationship official.

In August, I had my first legit paid photography gig – a wedding vow renewal. It was a bit nerve-racking, but it was my first paid gig, and it was a wedding. At least it wasn’t their first wedding [not to make it sound that the renewal wasn’t important], so it wasn’t as stressful as if I was in charge of getting all the pictures perfect or suffer the wrath of the family. They also understood that I was new to the events/portrait photography. It was a great experience and even though it was stressful, it was a lot of fun. I think I still prefer landscape/nature photography though.

Katie and my next great adventure together was the Sterling Renaissance Festival, we went with our friends Kat and Shannon. They managed to get me in a kilt. Not that it was very hard, I think it went something like: Katie- “I want to see you in a kilt before we leave.” Kat & Shannon- “Yes!” Me- “I was thinking about checking them out anyways, but ok… if you insist.”

My 10-year high school reunion was in August of 2011. I had some car problems and almost couldn’t go due to repair costs, but then I suggested being an unpaid photographer in exchange for free admission & got in to the reunion that way. It was cool seeing everyone again, even though I didn’t talk to most of them back in high school.

Katie and I attended Uproar Festival 2011 with a bunch of friends… that was a great day. All day at the Darien Lakes Performing Arts Center listening to a bunch of great bands while hanging out with some awesome people. Katie and I ended up taking almost the same picture, just a slightly different angle, and I edited mine a little.

Last year was the first time I’ve dressed up for Halloween in a few years. Katie and I dressed up as Desmond Miles and Lucy Stillman from Assassin’s Creed.

Katie’s little brother needed his senior pictures done, and her parents requested my services to take said portraits. Because of this, I ended up picking up my second paid photo gig.

We started off by doing a bunch of the traditional shots, where Katie was helping with getting Tommy into the positions that they wanted for indoor & outdoor shots. After we had finished with the traditional sets, Tommy and I screwed around and got a few fun pictures of him with his dirt bike.

One of my instructors at school invited me to pick up my third paid photo job. There was an event at the Phelps Art Center where Stan Munro, the creator of Toothpick City was at the center giving a demo for some kids & there was a reception after.

It was a lot of fun & great getting to meet Stan. I had been to the Phelps Art Center a few times before to look at & take pictures of the display. It’s amazing what he’s done with just toothpicks & Elmer’s Glue.

I have started playing video games a bit more again: Assassin’s Creed: RevelationsBattlefield 3The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim, and Red Dead Redemption [Katie got me this for Christmas].

I honestly haven’t played a ton of Assassin’s Creed. Between Katie, school, & Battlefield 3 – I didn’t have enough time to invest and get caught up in the story. Maybe I’ll hit it up some more later this week.

Battlefield 3, ah… Battlefield. I have heard friends say both good and bad things about BF3. All-in-all, it’s pretty much the same game as Bad Company 2. Sure, they’ve made it much prettier, added a few things here and there, and added a new physics engine… but it’s essentially the same game as every other FPS out there. Even so, I still enjoy the game immensely. It’s not a game I can spend days playing though, it gets too repetitive.

I was debating getting Skyrim, I’ve messed with most of the past Elder Scrolls games, but I never got very involved with them, I just got bored. Ever since I snagged Skyrim, most of my gaming-time is spent there. To say the game is amazing would be an understatement. The world is massive, there are tons of quests and things to be done. I have a level 37 Orc warrior that focuses on bows & two-handed weapons. I started a mage & thief characters around the same time as my warrior, but the warrior was the only one that has really kept my interest.

Red Dead Redemption is another game I wasn’t sure if I wanted. It was neat and all, but I had played a bit at a friend’s and wasn’t very impressed. The lack of excitement probably stemmed from a few weeks after it was released, when a friend tossed me the controller to a game that he was half way through and didn’t give me much of the back-story or any real instruction about what I was supposed to do. Katie got it for me as a Christmas gift and my interest in the game perked up again. It’s a pretty good game, kind of like a GTA of the wild west.

Skyrim is still consuming most of my gaming time, which is hindering progress in the other three games… but they are coming along, slowly.

This past semester at school went really well too. I took my first Photography class; it was all black & white film, and I loved it. As much as I enjoy digital, it’s a blast developing and printing photos. I also took Computer Imaging, which was loads of fun… even though a good chunk of it was review. I finished up the Design & Foundation Drawing class chain taking the second part of each. The last class I took the past semester was Ceramics I, I decided to take this so that I could make things that I can actually use in every-day-life now that the classes are done.

The other day I received a letter in the mail from school, I was worried that it might be an issue with billing or something. Luckily, it was to tell me that I was added to the Dean’s List this semester because my GPA was above 3.5!

All that being said, I leave you with an inspirational video for the start of the year. ❤

The words in this video are from Dr. Seuss’s “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!”

Congratulations!

Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.

You’ll look up and down streets. Look’em over with care. About some you will say, “I don’t choose to go there.” With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet, you’re too smart to go down a not-so-good street.

And you may not find any you’ll want to go down. In that case, of course, you’ll head straight out of town. It’s opener there in the wide open air.

Out there things can happen and frequently do to people as brainy and footsy as you.

And when things start to happen, don’t worry. Don’t stew. Just go right along. You’ll start happening too.

Oh! The Places You’ll Go!

You’ll be on your way up!
You’ll be seeing great sights!
You’ll join the high fliers who soar to high heights.

You won’t lag behind, because you’ll have the speed. You’ll pass the whole gang and you’ll soon take the lead. Wherever you fly, you’ll be best of the best. Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.

Except when you don’t.
Because, sometimes, you won’t.

I’m sorry to say so but, sadly, it’s true that Bang-ups and Hang-ups can happen to you.

You can get all hung up in a prickle-ly perch. And your gang will fly on. You’ll be left in a Lurch.

You’ll come down from the Lurch with an unpleasant bump. And the chances are, then, that you’ll be in a Slump.

And when you’re in a Slump, you’re not in for much fun. Un-slumping yourself is not easily done.

You will come to a place where the streets are not marked. Some windows are lighted. But mostly they’re darked. A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin! Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in? How much can you lose? How much can you win?

And if you go in, should you turn left or right…or right-and-three-quarters? Or, maybe, not quite? Or go around back and sneak in from behind? Simple it’s not, I’m afraid you will find, for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.

You can get so confused that you’ll start in to race down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space, headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.

The Waiting Place…for people just waiting.

Waiting for a train to go or a bus to come, or a plane to go or the mail to come, or the rain to go or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow or waiting around for a Yes or No or waiting for their hair to grow. Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for the fish to bite or waiting for wind to fly a kite or waiting around for Friday night or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake or a pot to boil, or a Better Break or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants or a wig with curls, or Another Chance. Everyone is just waiting.

No! That’s not for you!
Somehow you’ll escape all that waiting and staying. You’ll find the bright places where Boom Bands are playing. With banner flip-flapping, once more you’ll ride high! Ready for anything under the sky. Ready because you’re that kind of a guy!

Oh, the places you’ll go! There is fun to be done! There are points to be scored. There are games to be won. And the magical things you can do with that ball will make you the winning-est winner of all. Fame! You’ll be famous as famous can be, with the whole wide world watching you win on TV.

Except when they don’t. Because, sometimes, they won’t.

I’m afraid that some times you’ll play lonely games too. Games you can’t win ‘cause you’ll play against you.

All Alone!
Whether you like it or not, Alone will be something you’ll be quite a lot.

And when you’re alone, there’s a very good chance you’ll meet things that scare you right out of your pants. There are some, down the road between hither and yon, that can scare you so much you won’t want to go on.

But on you will go though the weather be foul. On you will go though your enemies prowl. On you will go though the Hakken-Kraks howl. Onward up many a frightening creek, though your arms may get sore and your sneakers may leak. On and on you will hike. And I know you’ll hike far and face up to your problems whatever they are.

You’ll get mixed up, of course, as you already know. You’ll get mixed up with many strange birds as you go. So be sure when you step. Step with care and great tact and remember that Life’s a Great Balancing Act. Just never forget to be dexterous and deft. And never mix up your right foot with your left.

And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and ¾ percent guaranteed.)

Kid, you’ll move mountains!
So…be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray or Mordecai Ale Van Allen O’Shea, you’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So…get on your way!



Beginning of Summer 2011

Classes ended a little over a month ago; I ended the semester with a 3.33 GPA.  If I hadn’t started slacking in Art History at the end of the semester it would have been a lot better. >_<

Summer has been good for the most part so far… I’m job hunting again. But I’ve got a lot going on as well, so at least I’m keeping relatively busy. I’m helping my dad re-construct a shed that he got free from Craigslist. The thing is a freaking beast; it took four of us to take it apart to prepare it for transport to the house.

The past week dad and I have been busy working on getting the shed put back together. Unfortunately, there is a chunk of the shed that needs to be  replaced. So, before putting the thing back together, we have to build part of it to replace the bad areas.

It’s a lot of work, but a ton of fun at the same time. It’s also keeping me from getting a farmer’s tan too since most of the time I’ll work without my shirt on [so much cooler], haha. I’ve had a farmer’s tan for the past who knows how many years. I decided this year I wasn’t going to get one, and shortly after I decided that – my dad told me he would need help with the shed. It worked out perfectly!

As you can tell, I’m still doing photography, but I stopped uploading things to DeviantArt [I last uploaded something on May 10th]. Instead I’m uploading them to a Facebook page [which may become public knowledge in the near future]. It’s easier to do that because I can upload more than one image at a time… with how many pictures I’m taking, uploading one image at a time is very tedious & annoying.

I’m going camping this weekend with friends, can’t wait! It’s been years since I’ve gone camping. Heading out tomorrow and coming back Sunday; it will be a great time. Taking my cameras down with me [of course], so I’ll have plenty of pictures when I get back.


No more server hopping.. maybe.

I haven’t done a ton with Mass Effect 2 lately… it’s not one of  those games I can just start and stop when I want. I get hooked in the story and don’t want to stop playing. I’ve had too much homework to take any real-time to dedicate to it. Hoping one of the next few weekends prove to be more viable for a bit of time spent progressing through it.

I still haven’t finished Assassin’s Creed or started AC2. I’m debating if I’ll ever finish it, I might just start the second and skip out on the last bit of the first. I’d rather not though, but with school and starting up World of Warcraft again, I don’t know if I’ll ever have the desire to finish Assassin’s Creed.

Speaking of WoW…. my brothers started playing again a week or so ago. They refused to start on another server or transfer, and my friends and I were already set on Staghelm and we didn’t plan on moving.

I guess it’s a good thing I never transferred my Paladin [Texhnolyze] to Staghelm. Even though I don’t play him anymore. I’ve fallen in love with the Death Knight and Mage, I’ve spent all my time playing on one of those two.

I’m also messing around with a new Rogue a little bit; my brothers, one of my nephews, and I all started new characters together. We’re staying relatively the same level so we can group up for quests and instances together.

I have gotten stuck server hopping so I can play with my best friends and my brothers before. I hate server hopping, I’m bad enough with alts on a single server…

But as it stands now, it looks like all my real-life friends that I play WoW with are leaving the game “for good.” If they do stop playing though, I will be going back to playing on Silvermoon “full-time” [as much as I can without screwing up school and work], which will be nice: no more server hopping. Also, if they stop playing, I *will* be transferring my Mage [Stasís] over to Silvermoon. I wonder if I can convince them to toss me any extra gold & spare mats before they stop playing [haha, doubtful]!

I’m also debating swapping Authenticators for WoW. I have one of the key-chain ones, but I also have the HTC Hero that runs the Android OS. Now there is the Authenticator application available for download on the Android Market. I always have my phone on me, I don’t always have the key-chain Authenticator with me.

I really wish I could go to PAX East this year, really I want to go to any PAX. I’ve never been to a gaming convention. Unfortunately due to obligations, finances, school, & work… actually getting to go is not gonna happen, again.


Busy, busy.

I haven’t done much in the way of gaming the past few weeks with everything going on before school starts.

I still haven’t started Assassin’s Creed 2, the little time I’ve spent gaming has been Modern Warfare 2. Finished up Spec Ops on Veteran with my brother, every single mission. Sadly, I think the last two missions were easier than a few of the others. I hope there’s a bit more time after school starts!

Random thought… I wonder how long it will last. I’m gonna start tagging each post with the musical artist[s] that play when I post.


Break…

I haven’t really been doing a ton of gaming the past few weeks, with being sick & the holidays. I still haven’t even gotten to start Assassin’s Creed 2.

l’ve thought about re-upping my WoW account, I’m not sure though. I’m going back to school, so I don’t want to pay for an account I might not even use [or slack off in my classes because I’m distracted by WoW]. Some of my co-workers are starting to play, which i kinda pushing me more toward re-upping…

Did some interesting Sudoku puzzles at work.

We’ll see I guess. I’ve gotten really good at keeping on task when I could be gaming, so I might give it a shot.

My other brother and nephew are now both playing Modern Warfare 2 as well. I know a lot of time is gonna be burned in MW2 for a while.

And Mass Effect 2 comes out later this month, I want to play that too.

Too many games, to little time!


Happy Holidays!

Hope everyone is having a good & happy holiday season!

Just a minor update for me today… thanks to Christmas, I’ve added a new game to my collection – Assassin’s Creed 2 [didn’t fully expect that one from my dad, heh]. Now I have to finish up the first AC so I can start AC2!


I decided to take a step back to a few games I still need to finish playing through today… Assassin’s Creed & Batman: Arkham Asylum.

Apparently in Assassin’s Creed, I only had three more people to assassinate, now I’m down to one. I can only deal with the repetitive quests so many times before I get annoyed.

I do enjoy the freedom to do the quests in whatever order I feel like. I’m not a huge fan of each city being sectioned off and being locked out until very late in the game… it’s not like an RPG where mobs in restricted areas are a higher levels, it’s the same guys you see everywhere else.

I wasn’t nearly as far in Batman as I thought I was, when I started today, I had only made it about 45% of the way through the main story. Apparently I spent a lot more time exploring & looking for all the hidden things than I had originally believed.

The combat system in Batman, is pretty damn good… I’d say near flawless. There are times that you can issue a command [for example: counter] and Batman will either stop mid-movement and [sort of] transport to the enemy that was attacking, even if they’re a few feet behind him… or he’ll stand there like a statue and get hit. Now, the lack of response might just be today because of the low battery in my 360 controller.

There are minor problems within the game that I’ve noticed, but nothing that reduces the enjoyment of gameplay. I think other super-hero games [Spider-Man, Superman, etc.] need to take a lesson from Batman: Arkham Asylum.

Tonight my brother and I finished the Delta section of Spec Ops in Modern Warfare 2 on Veteran. We now have only the Echo section remaining… which is going to be a pretty good challenge [not that the rest of Spec Ops wasn’t]. I’m kinda worried about doing Echo… in Alpha, Beta, Charlie, and Delta, the “Resistance” rating has varied from “Light” to “Medium” to “Heavy”… all three of the Echo Ops have a “Resistance” rating of “Massive.”

I saw a new trailer for Mass Effect 2 today… I can’t wait. 😀


I’m a gamer, no denying.

The past month or two my computer has been out of commission. Rather than fixing my PC right away, I decided I needed to take a small step a way from games (mainly World of Warcraft) and get out with my friends more. It’s difficult since I work in the morning/early-afternoon and most of them work in the mid-afternoon/evening, but it’s a lot easier since I stopped working overnights. Even with staying up “late” to hang with friends, I’ve been getting more sleep then when I was on overnights.

I dusted off my 360 to play some games that I left untouched, since I have some free time when everyone else is working. It’s a lot easier to pull away from games that don’t require more time (WoW- raids, endless grinding to level, etc).

masseffectFinally finished up Mass Effect [the last 2-3 hours I skipped out on *sigh*], I think it had great story & excellent game play. My only concerns are the load screens/time, and some bump-mapping issues. Quite often it takes a second or more for the textures to load during scene changes [conversation sequences, doors opening, amongst others], and right after load screens. The inventory system could have use a bit of work as well… it felt a bit jumbled at times. Despite all the load screens & bump-mapping issues, Mass Effect is worth it. I plan on picking up the sequels.

I’m still not too impressed with Fable II. I don’t find the story line very interesting, there are many load screens, & if you get a lot of NPCs in one area the game bogs down and gets jumpy, there are also bump-mapping issues at times as well. What really kept me playing the game was the achievements that would add points to my gamer-score, and the fact that I could just go around murdering whole villages or saving the entire countryside on a whim. I’m not sure if I’m gonna pick up Fable 3, we’ll see though… I’m hoping for improvements.

batman_arkham_asylum_imageI’m a big Batman fan, so Batman : Arkham Asylum was a natural choice. It’s pretty good, I still need to play more of the story, I got distracted doing the challenges (specifically the Scarecrow one that was downloadable). The story, graphics, and game play are all excellent from what I’ve seen. There are Challenges given by the Riddler throughout the game that you can solve for extra achievements & game completion if you enjoy that kind of thing, I know I do. That’s probably a big reason I haven’t beaten the game yet, I spend a lot of time “treasure” hunting.

I’ve beaten Halo 3: ODST, the story line was interesting with the way they hopped between each of the squad’s stories. I was slightly disappointed in the difficulty of the Legendary mode, it seemed a lot easier than Halo 3. Since you’re not playing as Master Chief, I would think it should be more difficult without the over-shield and not being genetically enhanced.

Firefight is amazing. Although it has no random grouping functionality (like Halo 3 matchmaking). There have only been a few times I’ve actually had enough friends on at the same time to play and it be worth-while (and even then it’s only been 2… maybe 3 out of the [almost necessary] 4 possible). I would love to play it more, but in order to get far enough to make it worth while, my friends and I are going to have to make some sort of schedule for it.

borderlandsBorderlands… ah, Borderlands. Probably the best description I’ve heard about it is, “it’s like the Diablo games and the FPS had a baby.” I chose to start with Mordecai, the sniper. I’ve reached level 19 on him, it’s a lot of fun. Now my newest sniper rifle has enough power to completely blow enemies heads off, and lower level mobs can be blown to pieces with said rifle. One thing that gets me is the fact that some non-sniper weapons have a zoom scope almost as good as my sniper scope, I don’t think I need that good of a scope (or any) on a shotgun, but some I’ve seen do have absurd scopes on them.

The inventory system is alright, only 12 slots to place things when you first start, but it’s expandable… right now I’m sitting at 18 slots. The lack of space can get annoying at times, since any extra guns, shields, or first aid kits all take up space. If you want to carry a first aid kit or two to be safe, be ready to give up precious inventory space. If you get hurt bad enough, you can chose to fight for your life or respawn back at the last save spot you walked by in what is essentially a clone body… this costs money though (currently $600-ish per spawn). I should probably start carrying a first aid kit, just in case I need it, but I would rather be able to carry that one extra gun that will add to my arsenal, or my wallet if I sell it. You also start with the ability to carry a main weapon and secondary weapon, as you progress you unlock the ability to hold up to 4 weapons, all choseable by cycling through them or hitting a hotkey.

I still have a few other games to work on that didn’t impress me too much for one reason or  another: Blue Dragon (RPG, might just need to get further into the story), Assassin’s Creed (while pretty, it is very repetitive), & Grand Theft Auto IV (I’ve always taken my time with the GTAs, so this one will take a while) just to name a few.

DeathObviously I’ve since fixed my computer. And yes, I’ve started playing World of Warcraft again, but nowhere near as much. I still enjoy the game, but I know I need a break from playing it as much as I used to, so I’ve been limiting myself. When I do play, I’m hopping between my Death Knight [Deathengine] on a server with my brothers and my Mage [Stasís] on a server with some friends. I hit 70 on my DK today, and did a few of the Headless Horseman quests for the Hallow’s End event. I’m debating if I want to power level to 75 so I can complete the quest to kill Headless Horseman, the event ends next Saturday.